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Police warn credit card skimmers are becoming harder to spot as fraud increases

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Police are warning that credit card fraud is on the rise, card skimmers are using technology to their advantage, and if you don’t know what to look for, your information could end up in the wrong hands.

“It can happen to me, it can happen to you,” said Dennis Little, a Winston-Salem resident.

Winston-Salem police say last year, they received 322 cases of reported credit card fraud. This year, they have received 218. But, they add that those are lowball numbers, largely because many of the cases never get reported.

“There’s people out there that’s constantly thinking of ways to take what you worked hard for,” Little added.

In the past, skimmers could be identified by looking for a device attached to the card readers at gas stations and ATMs. But today, the skimmers are now being placed internally, with criminals able to read card information remotely using Bluetooth technology.

“I don’t put my card in the machine,” said Tyesha Binns, who was visiting Winston-Salem from Virginia. “I always go in the store.”

“It happened to me like two months ago,” Winston-Salem resident Joseph White said. “$200 charge and it was from like a whole other state.”

Once stolen, the process of notifying the proper institutions and getting your money back can be inconvenient.

However, since many times the victims are not held responsible for the fees, they don’t feel a need to report it to law enforcement.

To protect yourself, check for the seals near card readers on gas pumps and ATMs. If the seal is broken, don’t swipe your card and report the tampering.

“It’s scary because you don’t know what happened,” White said. “You don’t know if they still have your information or how they got it.”